Follow These Sustainability Tips to Make Your Restaurant Stand Out in 2023.
Running your restaurant with sustainability in mind can lead to all sorts of advantages, both environmental and financial.
Adopting sustainable practices is of course better for the environment, and if you do it right, it will also help to increase efficiency, reduce your costs, and strengthen your brand in the eyes of the modern-day conscious consumer.
Opting for locally sourced produce, and working to reduce food waste are two of the most impactful things you can do to make your restaurant more sustainable. For a little guidance on how to do these things effectively, we’ve put together this list of practical sustainability tips.
We hope you can use them to bring your restaurant to the next level in 2023.
How to source local produce
There are several ways to source local food ingredients for a restaurant menu:
- Build relationships with local farmers and producers: This can be done by visiting local farmers' markets, attending food- and agriculture-related events, and reaching out to local farms and producers directly.
- Join a local food co-op or buying club: These organizations connect local farmers and producers with restaurants and other businesses looking to source local ingredients.
- Visit wholesale markets: Many wholesale markets have sections dedicated to local and regional growers and producers.
- Use online resources: Many local and regional growers and producers have websites and social media accounts where they promote and sell their products.
- Check for local certification: Many regions have certifications that are given to local farmers and producers who meet certain criteria such as organic or biodynamic farming.
- Network with other local chefs and restaurant owners: They can provide valuable information on where to find local ingredients and how to build relationships with local suppliers.
It's also worth noting that Local sourcing can also increase your menu's seasonality and variety, and it can also help to increase the visibility and awareness of your restaurant, as well as the local food community.
Once you’ve got your hands on all that fresh locally sourced produce, it would be a shame to let it go to waste. To increase sustainability as well as your bottom line, taking steps to make sure all your ingredients get put to good use is essential.
Ways to reduce food waste in a kitchen
Here are several ways to reduce food waste in a restaurant:
- Portion control: Serve appropriate portions, consider offering smaller portion sizes as options, and provide takeaway containers for guests to take home their leftovers.
- Inventory management: Keep track of food inventory, rotate products, and use them before they expire.
- Meal planning and menu creation: Plan your menu in advance, taking into account the ingredients you have on hand and what is in season.
- Composting and recycling food scraps: Implement a composting program for food scraps and other organic materials, and recycle any non-compostable materials.
- Use of leftovers: Plan for leftovers, and create new dishes that can be served the next day.
- Staff training: Train your staff on the importance of reducing food waste and how they can contribute to the effort.
- Smart storage: Store food properly, it will last longer and reduces spoilage.
- Track and measure food waste: Keep track of food waste, and measure it regularly. This will help you understand how much food is being wasted, where it's coming from, and how to address it.
- Partner with local organizations: Many organizations, such as food banks and shelters, can make use of excess food that would otherwise be thrown away.
- Communicate with your customers: Encourage customers to take home leftovers, and promote your efforts to reduce food waste on your menu and website.
Reducing food waste in a restaurant can not only be beneficial for the environment but also for the bottom line by reducing costs and increasing efficiency.
In the tough financial environment we’re currently experiencing, embracing sustainability tips like these can really help to future-proof your restaurant. Opting for locally sourced produce and reducing food waste should instantly increase your profits, and in time, will strengthen your brand and help to attract loyal, long-term customers who believe in your sustainability mission.
For more sustainability ideas, or if you’d like to read about how we’re embracing sustainability here at Lamb Weston, why not check out our latest sustainability report.
We hope it might offer you some inspiration as you follow your own sustainability journey.
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